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I've heard of people doing mini mash and partial mash. I always thought they were interchangeable terms for the same activity. But the other day I stumbled across someone who said "this works well for both partial mash and mini mash batches".

Is there a difference between the two, or are they synonymous?

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I've always understood them to be synonyms. –  JoeFish Feb 3 '12 at 14:06
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

My understanding is that a mini-mash is the process of using a small amount of 2-row to alter the fermentability of extract. While a partial mash is simply using a mash for a percentage of your OG.

But when I searched the net before answering this question, it seems that I was wrong -- 'mini-mash' and 'partial-mash' are used interchangeably. There may have been a distinction at one point, but not anymore.

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+1 - I thought the same. –  mdma Feb 3 '12 at 14:58
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Your first description of a mini-mash sounds like what I would call a cereal mash. This is where you add enough 2 or 6 row barley malt to some starchy cereal mash (rice, corn, un-malted wheat, etc.) to convert the starches to sugars. –  Tobias Patton Feb 3 '12 at 19:16
    
Not exactly. A cereal mash is for unmalted grains that need extra work to gelatinize. The mini-mash I described is a way for extract brewers to make liquid extract more fermentable. –  Hopwise Feb 4 '12 at 20:47
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No difference in my book. Just synonyms to describe the same thing.

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